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Ahh - that kind of hardware limitation | 756 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Ahh - that kind of hardware limitation
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 20 2012 @ 07:15 PM EDT

I was speaking of the calculators which have cpu's.

In the case of those that are - effectively, as in the example you gave - hardwired, that obviously would not fit into the situation I outlined.

So going with the calculators that do have cpu's and are software programmable (even if it's only flash at the factory):

    Does entering "1+1=" into such a calculator "make it a different machine" then having entered "2+2=" into it?
If one changed the software to output a message in morse, would that "make it a new machine"?

An example of what I envisioned with Morse:

    Dit - 1
    Dah - 2 (corrected)
    Space - 0
SOS would then be presented as:
    11102220111

RAS

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Actually, I suspect that one does have a CPU
Authored by: jesse on Saturday, July 21 2012 @ 08:04 AM EDT
It takes a sequence of operations to compute the sqrt and percent operations.

When I was learning computer science (dark age of 1970), one of my instructors
described how the original calculators worked. His description was of a simple
ALU - an adder/complement only. Additional chips added were a sequencer (another
ALU), a test circuit (for zero) and a basic ROM. The ROM contained the code to
direct the ALU in what to do and would check the test circuit (built into the
single register) after every iteration. Loops were implemented by setting the
sequencer register for the next address. One of our problems was to write a
program for multiplication, using only the operations a)set to zero,
b)increment, c)loop x. Quite tricky (the loop would loop 0 or more times, so an
if was a loop that could execute only once).

The AL1 appears to be a slice ALU, not a complete processor (which would need a
sequencer, register file, and I/O capabilities added - it has no jump
instruction, no test instruction, but does have some status bits).

By itself, it can do add/subtract/shift/complement, and with a very basic
register file (accumulator, H/L registers, and constants 0 and 1 it looks like).

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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